Patti LaBelle reflects on her relationship with Queen Latifah and the late Rita Owens

Queen Latifah’s mother, Rita Owens, passed away Wednesday night after suffering from heart failure. Many took to social media to send their condolences to Latifah and her family. During a recent interview with theGrio Patti LaBelle, who plays Latifah’s mother in the Fox hit show, Star, opened up about her relationship with Latifah and her mom.

“Knowing [Queen Latifah] as I do, as a friend, she always would call me “mom” before we did this. So, it was special working with her. Her mother and I are very good friends,” LaBelle tells theGrio’s Deputy Editor Natasha Alford.   

“So, I don’t feel as though I’m taking her away from [her] mom,” she continues. “But she looks to me for comfort sometimes, back in the day.”

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Queen Latifah broke the news of her mother’s passing to People Magazine:

“It is with a heavy heart that I share the news my mother, Rita Owens passed away today,” says Latifah. “Anyone that has ever met her knows what a bright light she was on this earth. She was gentle, but strong, sweet, but sassy, worldy but pragmatic, a woman of great faith and certainly the love of my life.”

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“She had struggled with a heart condition for many years and her battle is now over,” Latifah shares. “I am heartbroken but know she is at peace. Thank you for your kindness, support and respect for our privacy at this time. Much Love, Dana Owens (aka Queen Latif‎ah), forever Rita Owens’ daughter.”

We send our condolences to Queen Latifah and her family.

Catch more of Latifah and LaBelle in Season 3 of  Fox’s Star, premiering Wednesday, March 28th.